The future of a charity providing free advice and advocacy services to vulnerable Borderers – including those with learning disabilities and suffering mental illness – has been secured.
Borders Independent Advocacy Services (BIAS), which employs eight expert advisers, has bought the converted mill known as the Hive in Low Buckholmside in Galashiels.
BIAS was one of several charities leasing accommodation there, and it faced an uncertain future a year ago when the building’s owner, Gala Day Services, went into voluntary liquidation.
Others included the Elder Voice, now disbanded, and the Borders Hard of Hearing Network, now sharing premises with the British Red Cross in Wheatlands Road, Galashiels.
BIAS continued to operate from its ground-floor premises within the Hive, and joint liquidator Bill Cleghorn announced on Monday that a deal had been agreed with BIAS for it to take ownership of the entire building.
“We are delighted to announce the sale of the Hive to BIAS,” said Mr Cleghorn.
“While the exact details cannot be disclosed, the price achieved was such to allow all creditors to be paid in full and a charitable donation to be made by the joint liquidators to BIAS of the balance of the value of the property.”
“Throughout the negotiations, the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator has been kept fully informed and has given approval to the transaction as both organisations are registered charities.”
Founded as a pilot project in Kelso in 1995, BIAS moved to Galashiels nine years ago after changes in legislation made it a right for individuals being treated for mental health problems to have access to independent advocacy.
The charity supports around 400 vulnerable clients each year.